Runaway Rape Suspect In Police Net After CSOs Intervention In Abuja

The long arm of the law has caught up with a 28-year-old rape suspect Godwin Archibong who allegedly defiled and sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl at Mpape, Abuja, and avoided arrest for over six months.

Archibong’s arrest follows the intervention and guidance of two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), the Progressive Impact Organisation for Community Development, PRIMORG, and Jewel Hive Initiative, who are now further seeking that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation take over the case to ensure justice is adequately served.

The Gender Unit of the FCT Police Command on Thursday confirmed that the suspect, who had been on the run for months, was arrested by concerned citizens, handed over to the Mpape Police station, and subsequently transferred to their facility.

The victim’s father, Ousmane Abdou, reported the brutal and cruel sexual attack against his daughter after listening to the anti-corruption radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE, produced by PRIMORG, on Wednesday, 13 March 2024, in Abuja, describing his daughter’s predicament as attempted murder and lamenting the inability of the Police to arrest the suspect for prosecution.

The 17 years old victim (names withheld) was allegedly lured and sexually molested, raped, and severely physically injured and bruised, with the family moving her to different health facilities for medical attention. At the same time, her attacker escaped and avoided arrest for a long time.
Counsellors from PRIMORG and Jewel Hive Initiative had advised Abdou (father of the rape victim) on steps to take to increase the chances of arresting the suspect (Archibong) and hand him over to the nearest Police station without violating the laws.

The suspect was nabbed by people living in the environs where the rape incident was said to have taken place on the 20th day of June 2024.

As a sequel to this development, the NGOs are now calling on the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, to take over the case and ensure that justice is adequately dispensed if the suspect is found guilty.

The appeal to the Minister for Justice was contained in a letter signed by Barr. Oluwatoyin Falaiye on behalf of Jewel Hive Initiative.

Part of the letter read: “While we appreciate the effort of the Police so far, we humbly implore you (Attorney General of the Federation) to take over the case from the FCT Police command and charge same to court for prosecution.

“The aim is to ensure that justice is adequately done in this matter and the suspect, if found guilty, should face the full wrath of the law. We strongly believe that this case will be handled with utmost urgency as we continue the fight to curb the rate of sexual violence in our society.”

Reacting to the issue, PRIMORG’s Executive Director, Augustine Okhiria Agbonsuremi, joined calls for the government to go all out and ensure justice is served, adding that the authorities must cease moments like this to send a strong message to prospective sexual gender-based violence offenders in Nigeria.

His words: “Perpetrators of this crime called ‘rape’ must be severely and swiftly sanctioned. It must worry the Nigerian authorities that rape has assumed an epidemic status.

“No society should condone rape which regrettably has now become a serious social problem in our dear country. So I urge the government to be frontal in tackling the menace; families, religious and traditional institutions must also play their roles and importantly perpetrators must be made to face the full wrath of the law,” Agbonsuremi stated.

PRIMORG’s weekly radio program, Public Conscience, draws government and citizens’ attention to corruption and integrity issues in Nigeria.
The programme has the support of the MacArthur Foundation.

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